Crisis Intervention Team


In 1988, the Memphis Police Department joined in partnership with the Memphis chapter of the Alliance for the Mentally Ill, mental health providers and two local universities in organizing, training and implementing a specialized unit. This unique and creative alliance was established for the purpose of developing a more intelligent, understandable, and safe approach to mental crisis events.

Program Benefits:

· Crisis response is immediate.

· Use of force has decreased.

· Officers are better trained and educated in verbal de-escalation techniques.

· Officer’s injuries during crisis events declined.

· Officer recognition and appreciation by the community has increased.

· Decrease in liability for health care issues in the jails.

The Crisis Intervention Training program (CIT) has resulted in a decrease in arrest rates for the mentally ill, an impressive rate of diversion into health care systems, and a resulting low rate of mental illness in jails.

The CIT model encourages communities, families, law enforcement, and mental health professionals to act as a compass for persons affected with mental illness. An increase in illegal narcotic/alcohol abuse and the “deinstitutionalization” of mentally ill citizens has caused many to become homeless and potentially more violent which increases the chances of involvement with law enforcement. This increases the possibility for excessive force complaints. Traditional police methods, misinformation, and a lack of sensitivity, cause fear and frustration for consumers and their families. Too often, officers respond to crisis calls where they felt at a disadvantage or were placed in a no-win situation. It often takes a tragedy for law enforcement to look for a change. As a proactive program, CIT acts as a model committed to preventing a tragic situation and providing short-term solutions with long term objectives for all those persons concerned.

A team of local officers, police and corrections, trained to respond to psychiatric emergencies as first responders.

A hallmark of CIT is its creation of strong relationships between law enforcement, community residents, and a social service providers, to work together to solve local problems.

1.To implement a community-oriented, innovative community policing model for responding to psychiatric emergencies.

2. To reduce the number of arrests and incarcerations for non-violent offenses of people with mental illness.

3. To build a strong and lasting relationship between law enforcement, mental health providers, and families of and people with mental illness in our local community.

4. To build an in-jail CIT Team that works closely with the community police team.

5. To provide 40 hours of specialized CIT training to interested and qualified area police officers to improve their ability to interact with people in psychiatric crisis.

Officer will receive training in:



Deaf Services

Suicide Prevention

Family Perspectives

Personality Disorders

Intro to Mental Illness

Diversity Issues in Mental Illness

Psychiatric Meds and Toxicology

De-Escalation Skills and Role Plays

Consumer Perspectives/Legal Issues

Children and Adolescent Mental Health

Substance Abuse and Co-Occurring Disorders

As of December 01, 2013 the Bangor Police Department has 23 police officers and 1 emergency dispatchers certified as completing the 40 hour training module. Trainings are held once a year in nearly every county in Maine with Penobscot County being in November. Local area professionals teach and assist in the training at no cost to the program which is run by Maine National Alliance for Mental Illness. (NAMI).